School Improvement in Maryland

What support is available to help my child transition to life after school?

The Maryland State Department of Education Transition Planning Guide focuses on the movement of your child with disabilities from school to appropriate postsecondary outcomes and supports the preparation for moving on to the next stage in life. Not every student will have the same goals and outcomes. All students should have goals for future employment whether it is full or part time or employment that includes assistance to be successful. All students should have goals and outcomes for postsecondary education or training that they will need to reach their employment goals. Your child may even have specific independent living goals.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that the purpose of the legislation is "to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for employment and independent living." The reauthorization of IDEA 2004 included very specific language about transition planning and the postsecondary outcomes for children. The law stresses the need for the student, educators, parents, and community service providers to work together to support the student as he or she works toward his or her goals and outcomes. This guide is intended to assist parents, students, educators, and community service providers to build informed partnerships. The guide will also provide parents with information that will be needed in the planning process.

This guide is designed to build informed partnerships for the transition planning process. Transition from school to appropriate adult activities takes the collaboration of the student, family, school staff, and community agencies.

This Transition Planning Guide will provide details about the following topics.

  • Information for the Transition Planning Home File (Page i)
  • Transition Overview (Page 1)
  • The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004 Requirements for Transition Planning (Page 2)
  • Transition Planning (Page 3)
  • Graduation (Page 3)
  • Maryland Exit Document (Page 4)
  • Entitlement vs. Eligibility (Page 5)
  • Maryland Adult Service Agencies (Page 5)
  • The Parent's Role in Transition Planning (Page 22)
  • The Student's Role in Transition Planning (Page 23)
  • Transition Process: Agency Linkage (Page 24)